Sticking Your Tongue Out!

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I read an interesting verse in my time with the Bible this morning;

The tongue has the power of life and death

(Proverbs 18 vs. 21)

I don’t know if they still do but, years ago (in the good old days!) doctors would often tell you to stick out your tongue.  It would seem that the condition of your tongue was a good indicator of the general condition of your health.  However, let me put a little warning on this, it is not advisable, the next time somebody asks how you are for you to stick out your tongue – this could produce unwelcome results!

In ancient times, if you caught a spy or somebody witnessed something that you didn’t want repeating, you would “cut their tongue out – sounds painful and disgusting!

Does the tongue really have the power of life and death as the writer of Proverbs suggests?  Well, our words certainly do have power and can have long lasting and far reaching consequences.  With a single word we can really encourage somebody or, hurt them.  I have read, in the past, that it takes 7 positive words to outweigh 1 negative.  However, I think it would be many more than that!

As I looked through my Bible this morning I found 57 separate verses about the need to learn to control our tongues!

So perhaps, I found myself thinking, it is better to keep silent and never speak again (that would make Sunday’s services a little different!).  But, the more I reflected on it I realised that silence can be just as hurtful and damaging as our words.  When we have the opportunity to show interest, offer comfort, or prayer and do not that can be just as damaging.  The Bible doesn’t tell us to keep silent, it does tells us to learn self- discipline when it comes to our tongues. Try these words from Ephesians;

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

(Ephesians 4 vs. 29)

So, before you say what is on the “tip of your tongue” Pause, Pray then Speak because your words carry real power with them!  As the Psalmist says;

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

(Psalm 19 vs. 14)

 

 

A Special Day

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Today is a very special day, it’s Saint Sean’s Day!

For those of you scratching your heads and wondering why you have never heard of it before, let me be a little clearer.  Saint Sean is the author of this Blog – now that has really confused you!!!!

Okay, before you think I have an over inflated ego, let me explain fully.  Today’s little offering is put together on 1st November which is, in some Christian traditions, All Saints Day.

I would be the first to acknowledge that there have been (and are) Christians who have influenced my own journey with God and I find inspiration in their testimony and life and I am grateful to them and for them.  But, for many years, Christians have had a very strange view of Saints.  We have seen them as some sort of “Super Christian” who has had led an incredible life and done amazing things.  We have elevated them in our thinking and eventually immortalized them in stained glass.

So, let me explain my thinking to you.  The Apostle Paul writes;

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours

(1 Corinthians 1 vs. 2 – NKJV)

A brief look at the Corinthian Church will soon tell you that these were anything but “super Christians”.  The Church in Corinth was in a bit of a mess and there were disagreements, and struggles going on – hardly the sort of thing Saints are made of!

So, why does Paul call them Saints when they were far from perfect?  There are some keys in this verse that, maybe, you need to investigate (sanctified, called, the Lordship of Jesus).  But, I also think, Paul saw the potential that was in these people, the potential to make a difference if they allowed God to work in them.

I am not sure how true this story is but, I would like to think it is.  The end of the English Civil War saw Oliver Cromwell rise to power but, the nation was bankrupt and the government began to run low on silver for coins.

Cromwell sent his men to the Cathedral’s and Churches to see if they could find any precious metal there. After investigating they reported:

“The only silver we can find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners.”

To which Cromwell replied:

“Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them in circulation!”

That brief, but direct order, states the essence of the practical goal of authentic Christianity. Not rows of silver saints crammed into the corners of Cathedrals and Churches, but melted saints circulating throughout humanity where life is lived.

So, today is Saint Sean’s day and Saint _______ (insert your name) day, if you are willing to be melted down by God and put into circulation!